FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2017
Snappers Unveil 2017 Opening Day Roster
BELOIT, WI – The Oakland Athletics and Beloit Snappers have announced the 2017 Single-A Opening Day roster. The active roster, as of April 1, will include 13 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders, and four outfielders.
Ten players on the Opening Day roster spent time in Beloit during the 2016 season. Twenty-one players are draft picks by the Oakland Athletics including 10 selections from the June 2016 draft. Four of the 10 players from the 2016 draft class were chosen in the first nine rounds of the draft. Three players are original international signees by the Athletics and one was acquired via trade. Two out of 25 Snappers saw playing time with the Oakland Athletics during 2017 Major League Spring Training.
“We are excited to welcome this group of young talent,” says Snappers General Manager Seth Flolid. “Oakland has revitalized their farm system through the draft since our relationship began in 2013 and this roster reflects that effort. Beloit is thrilled to be a launching pad for these future Athletics.”
The Beloit Snappers will begin their 36th season on Thursday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. against the Cedar Rapids Kernels, affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Snappers will host their annual Meet the Team event on Tuesday, April 4 at Beloit Memorial High School from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Below is the complete list of players opening the season with the Snappers as of April 1. A complete roster reflecting initial assignments is also attached.
Xavier Altamirano: A returner from the 2016 Opening Day roster, the 22-year-old got a win in his Snappers debut thanks to a snow-shorted game against Wisconsin on April 8. He found himself on the disabled list in mid-May after eight appearances and reported to short season Vermont in June. He was one of four Lake Monsters was named a New York-Penn League All-Star and finished the season with a 2.48 ERA. He was drafted by the Athletics in 2015 out of Oral Roberts.
Brandon Bailey: Bailey was a sixth-round choice by the Athletics in the June 2016 draft. He played collegiately at Gonzaga and split his first professional season between Vermont and the AZL A’s serving both as a starter and reliever.
Boomer Biegalski: Boomer returns to Beloit after spending all of 2016 with the Snappers. He led last year’s pitching staff with 153.1 innings of work and 115 strikeouts. He also had a team-high of 8 winning decisions. The Florida State product was also one of five Snappers in the Midwest League All-Star Game last season.
Heath Bowers: The Athletics 24th round pick in the 2015 draft led the 2016 Vermont Lake Monsters with 71 innings of work. He was also second on the club with 10 starts. He has made all 30 of his professional outings with the Athletics short season affiliate and is making his first jump to full-season ball.
Brendan Butler: The 23-year-old Butler pitched at three levels in the Athletics developmental system in 2016, but most of his time was in Beloit. Butler started nine games for the Snappers, made seven appearances on the mound for Vermont, and made two outings for High-A Stockton early in the season. He threw a five-inning complete-game against Kane County onAugust 4 in Beloit.
Dakota Chalmers: Drafted by the Athletics in the third round of the 2015 draft, Chalmers is still 20 years old and playing in his third season since coming out of high school in Georgia. He signed for $1.2 million to pull him away from a commitment to the University of Georgia and is regarded as Oakland’s No. 14 prospect according to MLB.com. Last season with Vermont, he led the team in strikeouts (62).
Ty Damron: The Athletics drafted the left-handed Texan in the 15th round of the 2016 draft. He pitched at short season Vermont after signing. He was drafted in the 13th round of the 2013 draft by the Dodgers, but he chose to play college baseball at Texas Tech instead.
Will Gilbert: After four seasons at North Carolina State, Oakland grabbed Gilbert in the eighth round of the 2016 draft. The southpaw played with Vermont after signing and came out of the bullpen 15 times while striking out 31 hitters over 25-plus innings.
Nick Highberger: After a 12-3 record in four years at Creighton University with an ERA of 2.84, the Athletics drafted Highberger last June in the 30th round. He spent much of the 2016 season with the AZL A’s, but did get a win for High-A Stockton on September 4.
Matt Milburn: A native of Dallas, Millburn was a 29th round pick by Oakland last June. He appeared in a total of 14 games between the Arizona Rookie League and short season Vermont. The 23-year-old played college baseball at Wofford.
Michael Murray: Murray made his professional debut with Beloit in 2016 with a two-hit performance at Kane County on May 28. He was drafted by the Athletics in the 32nd round of the 2015 draft but did not play that year due to a right elbow injury. He played collegiately at Florida Gulf Coast and was a Louisville Slugger All-American in 2014 and a Freshman All-American in 2013.
Dalton Sawyer: Sawyer played his college baseball with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The 23-year-old Waconia, MN native was taken in the ninth round of the June 2016 draft by the Athletics. After signing with Oakland, Dalton spent the remainder of the 2016 season pitching for Vermont.
Andrew Tomasovich: Another returning Snapper, Tomasovich made 33 outings out of the Beloit bullpen in 2016. The lefty from Charlotte struck out 50 batters in less than 40 innings of work.
Jason Goldstein: Goldstein became Oakland property in an offseason trade with the Seattle Mariners. He was originally a ninth-round pick by the Mariners in the 2016 draft and played for their short season affiliate in Everett, WA after signing. The 23-year-old is from Highland Park, IL and played college baseball at the University of Illinois. He played for the Madison Mallards in 2015 and during their 2013 Northwoods World Series title season.
Collin Theroux: A 32nd round pick by Oakland last June, the 23-year-old Theroux reached Beloit at the end of last season. Theroux even saw action in two Major League Spring Training games with the Athletics in 2017. He finished his college career last year at Oklahoma State when the Cowboys made a run to the College World Series. Theroux also spent the 2015 summer in the Northwoods League with the Madison Mallards.
Edwin Diaz: Entering his fifth professional season, Diaz returns to the Snappers after previous time in Beloit in 2015 and 2016. The 21-year-old set career-best numbers in several statistical categories last season, and he was drafted by Oakland in 2013 out of Puerto Rico. Diaz also appeared in four Major League Spring Training games with Oakland this year.
Trace Loehr: The Athletics drafted Trace out of high school in 2014 in the sixth round. He spent all of 2016 with Beloit and led the Snappers with 7 triples. He was Midwest League Player of the Week for August 22-28 after going 15-for-27 (.556) with 5 doubles.
Eric Marinez: The 21-year-old Dominican led the Vermont Lake Monsters with 3 triples in 2016. He signed with the Athletics in 2012 as an international free agent.
Miguel Mercedes: Mercedes moves up to Beloit after leading the New York-Penn League in home runs (12) during the 2016 season. The 21-year-old was also a league All-Star and was Player of the Week for June 20-26 after going 11-for-26 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI. He enters his fifth professional season since signing with the Athletics in 2013 at age 16.
Nate Mondou: Selected by the Athletics last June in the 13th round of the draft, Mondou was an All-Star in his first season as a pro player with Vermont. He was also First Team All-ACC for the 2015 and 2016 seasons while playing at Wake Forest.
Kyle Nowlin: Nowlin is a Harrison, OH native and played collegiately at Eastern Kentucky. His 21 home runs as a senior led all of NCAA Division I at the end of the regular season. He was drafted by the Phillies in 2015 but returned to EKU for his senior season.
Luis Barrera: Barrera reached Beloit in August 2016 to close out the season with the Snappers. He hit .286 over that month with seven hits going for extra bases. The Dominican outfielder will play his age 21 season in 2017 and signed with the Athletics in 2012 as an international free agent.
Cole Gruber: Gruber enters his second professional season after leading the Arizona Rookie League in 2016 with 28 stolen bases. The left-handed hitting speedster also is the all-time leader in career stolen bases at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Oakland drafted Gruber in the 27th round last June.
Mike Martin: Martin joined the Snappers last June after beginning the season in Extended Spring Training. He was placed on the disabled list on July 16 and missed the rest of the year after playing 34 games. The 24-year-old is from Hoffman Estates, IL and played college baseball at Harvard. He was drafted by Oakland in the 33rd round of the 2015 draft.
JaVon Shelby: The 21-year-old Shelby was drafted by the Athletics last June in the 5th round. After signing, he played in one game for the AZL A’s before he was elevated to Vermont. He played collegiately at Kentucky and was first drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 37th round of the 2013 draft.
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and have been the Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics since 2013. Opening Day for the Snappers 36th season is April 6, 2017 at Pohlman Field as the Snappers host the Cedar Rapids Kernels.